Subject:  Mating Wheel Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Pegram, TN
Date: 09/29/2018
Time: 05:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Taken w/ my iPhone. Found these two hanging upside down on my outdoor garbage can and was struck by the saw-tooth crescent thingy on their back. “What IS that??” A Google search took me to whatsthatbug, where I found the answer in Top 10 and learned about Assassin Bugs. Thanks, bug man!!
If you zoom in slightly, you can see the slender sex organ extending from the male’s abdomen towards her backside. Is this the aedeagus?Never saw one before.
Staying in zoom, it honestly looks as if his back left leg is pushing her wing slightly open for contact. And I’m probably imagining things now, after reading ‘How Insects Mate’ on thoughtco.com, but it looks like he’s tickling her with his two front left legs.
“One-third of insect species studied by scientists show….a decent effort on the male’s part to make sure the female is pleased with the sexual encounter.”
Well done, sir!!!
How you want your letter signed:  Anita Cold-Shower

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Anita Cold-Shower,
Your image of mating Wheel Bugs is awesome, and thanks to your careful research, we can add aedeagus to our insect vocabulary word list.  Aedeagus is defined on BugGuide as being:  “the intromittent organ of a male insect with its appendages” and according to Wikipedia:  “An intromittent organ is a general term for an external organ of a male organism that is specialized to deliver sperm during copulation.”

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Location: Pegram, Tennessee

One Response to Mating Wheel Bugs

  1. Ronald Veronese says:

    I just removed one of these off my deck in Holden Beach, NC. Had a difficult time identifying it until my cousin looked it up under “Kissing Bugs”. Although not a true kissing bug, it fits the likeness of the “Wheel Bug”, perfectly.

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